Show ContentsRoan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Roan family

The surname Roan was first found in East Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they were a sept of the Ui Maine. The name is derived from the Irish and Gaelic Ruadhan (dh mute)-ruadh, which means red or red-haired. [1]

The progenitor of the Roan family is Felix O'Ruadháin, Archbishop of Tuam, an Irish prelate at the Lateran Council in Rome in 1215. [2]

Early History of the Roan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roan research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1564, 1751 and 1834 are included under the topic Early Roan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roan Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Roan, Rohan, Roohan, Ruane, Ruane, O Rouine, Rogan, O Rogan, Rowan and many more.

Early Notables of the Roan family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roan Ranking

In the United States, the name Roan is the 9,642nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Roan family to Ireland

Some of the Roan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Roan migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Roan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mathew Roan, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [4]
Roan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Roan settled with her husband in Georgia in 1733
  • George Roan, who settled in Georgia in 1733
  • Johannes Jerick Roan, aged 28, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 [4]
  • Martin Roan, who landed in New Jersey in 1762 [4]
  • Charles Martin Roan, who arrived in New Jersey in 1762 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Roan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Roan, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812 [4]
  • William Roan, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [4]

Australia Roan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Roan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Roan, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Edwin Fox" on 24th August 1858, arriving in Western Australia, Australia

Contemporary Notables of the name Roan (post 1700) +

  • Michael Phillip Roan (b. 1972), retired American NFL football tight end
  • Oscar Bennie Roan III (b. 1951), retired American NFL football tight end
  • Paul Roan, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Oklahoma State House of Representatives 20th District; Elected 2002 [5]
  • Nathaniel M. Roan, American politician, Delegate to Whig National Convention from North Carolina, 1839 [5]
  • Gary Lee Roan, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1996 [5]
  • Private First Class Charles Howard Roan (1923-1944), United States Marine, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944, eponym of the USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)
  • Roan Joseph Bronstein, American actor, known for What About Love (2016) and Biography (1987)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Esther  Roan (1865-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [6]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Ronald P Roan, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [7]

The Roan Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Cresco per crucem
Motto Translation: I increase by the cross

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from
  6. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from
  7. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook